Article 7

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What we Believe







"Unto What Are We Called?"

"God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord"   (I Cor. 1:9).

We live in a day in which there seems to be very little knowledge of any scriptural doctrine among professing Christians. It is not for me to say they are all not the called of God, but in most cases this is the reason. People have little (at best) understanding of the call of God, and even less understanding of that unto which the called are called. The elect are called by the gospel of Christ unto the fellowship of Him of whom the gospel speaks. Although men and women are called unto a new way of living in this world a new way of living, as defined by most, is not proof nor the effect of the call of God. Although men and women are called to believe in God believing, as defined by most, is not the proof nor the effect of the call of God.

Many have been called, by persuasive arguments and emotional sermons, unto a belief in God (even in Jesus) and a turning from certain evil deeds, but only the call of God through the Spirit sanctifying unto obedience to the gospel brings one into fellowship with Christ. To be called in this way is to be among THE called according to God's purpose rather than man's (Rom. 8:28). To be among THE called is to be among those God in love forknew in the person of His Son, even before the world was (Rom. 8:29-30; Eph. 1:3-14). To be called of the God who is faithful to confirm His people blameless unto the end in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ (I Cor. 1:8) is to have been summoned (called) unto the communion or sharing in common (fellowship) of God's Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Such fellowship as this is absent in most of today's so-called churches.

Let us note the difference between the fellowship of the religious and the fellowship of the called of God. Religious people find fellowship in their denomination, their programs and social activities, their political ideologies, and even in their own self-righteousness. The people called of God find fellowship in the person and work of Christ as revealed in the gospel of free grace. They have communion with the Father and Son, and with one another (I Jn. 1:3). The religious either break off fellowship or refuse fellowship to any whose personal character is not according to their standards. The called of God seek to encourage and edify one another in sound doctrine in light of the personal faults and the tendencies of all to fall short of a walk which always honors God. The religious promote fellowship to almost any with "great moral character" in spite of what they believe about the great triune God -- Father, Son, and Spirit. The called of God promote fellowship with none who reject the truth of the person and work of God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Spirit, in spite of their seeming "great moral character."  The religious will promote tolerance and the overlooking of sins with any among their accepted camp. The called of God promote forgiveness in Christ and repentance among all within the called.

To be called unto the fellowship of God's Son is far more than a religious experience wherein one realizes there is a difference between right and wrong and attempts are made to do the right. It is far more than believing one is a sinner who must change his way of life. It is far more than going from atheism or polytheism to monotheism. To be called of God is to be brought to see the Kingship of Jesus Christ (Col. 1:12-13); the redemptive power of Christ (vv. 14,20-22); the deity and uniqueness of Christ (vs. 15); the sovereign power and authority of Christ over all circumstances, things, and persons (vv. 16-17); the Headship of Christ over the church, with Christ having all preeminence and in whom is all fulness (vv. 18-19); and this seeing is by a faith which continues to hold to the faith of which Christ is the central theme (vs. 23) and the real, indwelling hope of glory (vv. 24-27). All fellowship with God must come through the Son (Jn. 5:23-24; I Jn. 2:21-24), and it is unto the fellowship of Christ that we have been called.

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